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What is the H-1B visa application process?

By June 19, 2020May 19th, 2021H-1B and E-3 Visa, Immigration
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If your H-1B registration application was selected in the H-1B lottery, you have a 90 day period during which you have to file an H-1B petition with USCIS. This blog post will walk you through the H-1B application process.

  1. File the Labor Condition Application

As a part of the H-1B application process, you will have to file a Labor Condition Application (“LCA”) with the Department of Labor. When filing the LCA you will also be required to attest that the H-1B employee’s wage is the required wage and you will have to identify the source from which was the prevailing wage obtained. It usually takes around 7 days to get the LCA certified and you will have to submit a certified LCA with the H-1B petition.

  1. Prepare the USCIS Forms and the Supporting Documentation Package

With regards to the UCSIS forms, you will have to submit the I-129 form, including the H classification supplement and the H-1B Data collection supplement and pay the corresponding USCIS government fees. You may also submit a Premium processing request in case USCIS allows premium processing at the time you are filing the H-1B petition. If premium processing is not allowed at the time you file but USCIS later enables it, you can always interfile the premium processing request later.

Additionally, you will have to submit documents that demonstrate that the H-1B worker has at least a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, the position the H-1B worker is being hired for must be the type of job that usually requires a degree, and the occupation is a specialty occupation.

You should submit at least the following documents with the H-1B petition: the Employment letter that describes the Company, your role in the U.S., the specialty occupation position, your qualifications, and terms of employment, your degree and transcripts, and if you are filing for a change of status you will also have to include documents showing that you have been maintaining your status.

  1. Wait for the USCIS decision

If you filed the Premium Processing Request, USCIS should decide your case within 15 days. If you did not file the Premium Processing request, then it may take USCIS couple weeks/months to adjudicate the H1b petition.

If you filed the H1b petition as a change of status, you will be able to start working on the H-1B status starting October 1.

If you filed the H1b petition as Consular Processing, you will first have to go and get an H-1B visa stamp and a U.S. Consulate abroad and only after you get the H1b visa stamp and enter the U.S. on an h-1B status will you be able to start working for the H-1B employer.

  1. When do I have to renew my H-1B visa

If USCIS approved your initial H-1B petition, it will be for a maximum period of 3 years. After the 3 years, the H-1B employer that originally sponsored you for the H-1B visa or another U.S. employer willing to sponsor you for the H-1B visa will again have to file a new LCA and a new H-1B petition. In this petition, you will again have to demonstrate that you meet all the H-1B requirements and that you qualify for the H-1B visa.

Please see our blog post on whether you can change employer or if you have to keep working for the employer that originally sponsored you for the H1b visa when you click here.

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